Allergy shots are given to the patients who have severe allergies to a substance. These shots are given to desensitize the patient for the allergen. The allergy shots are actually the allergen itself which is injected into the body of the patient in incremental doses so that the body starts to identify the allergen as a familiar chemical and not as a foreign body, and does not produce heightened reaction to ward off the relatively innocuous chemical. These allergy shots have to be taken regularly and therefore, it could create a big hole in your pocket if you are not insured. This article discusses the cost of allergy shots in different scenarios.
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Cost for uninsured individuals
For all the individuals who are not covered by insurance, the cost of allergy shots may be as high as $1,560 to$3,900 per year for the shots that have to be taken weekly. Cost of each vial is about $100 and the cost of administering the shots by a nurse or a doctor is $20 and $100 respectively per visit. Thus, the cost of the allergy treatment could be very high for the first year and after that, frequency of the shots may come down from four times to two times a month reducing the cost by half.
Cost for insured individuals
The insurance companies do provide insurance for allergy treatments as this problem may become life-threatening and also decreases quality of life due to restrictions on the foods and the contacts that must be made by the body. Generally, the insurance coverage needs you to pay co-pay. This means that you are required to pay a certain amount or a specific percentage on per visit basis. This amount comes out to be between $10 and $25 per visit. This insurance coverage brings down your expenses by a considerable amount of $800 on an average. The minimum being $500 and the maximum being $1300, the first year of the treatment is expensive. Next three years are comparatively cheaper and the range of the expense may come down to $170 to $290 per year.
The allergy shots may take many years to build the required amount of resistance and your insurance coverage should be able to cover you sufficiently for the entire duration.
If there is any recurrence, which is though not very common but may occur, then the treatment cost may increase. Many doctors prescribe allergy drops. These drugs are not covered by insurance but are cheaper alternative to the allergy shots. It must be remembered that allergy drops are not FDA approved but their low cost makes them lucrative.
The decision of getting allergy shots must be made only after being tested by a certified allergist. The allergist may do an under the skin test which will confirm that you do not react uncontrollably to the administered drug.
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